The Twin Cities Habitat ReStore had a fun new project where youth from Upward Bound were the guinea pigs. The project was to design and decorate donation boxes that the ReStore can place around the Twin Cities to receive donations.
Upward Bound is a program developed to provide postsecondary support to low-income, first generation, and at risk youth. During the school year, Upward Bound staff provide tutoring and advising services to students interested in higher education. During the summer, the students attend a six week academic camp held at Hennepin Technical College. As a service learning opportunity for the students their summer instructor, Ryan Hanson, contacted Habitat to see if we had any opportunities for them.
The students worked in groups of three or four and had to work together to come up with a theme for their box revolving round Habitat and recycling. It was a great experience to see all the unique ideas the students came up with, and we learned that high school students still love to paint with their hands!
The boxes will be placed in local stores and businesses to collect items that otherwise might be discarded. When the businesses see the brightly colored ReStore donation boxes, they'll hopefully be inspired to collect additional goods for eventual pickup by the ReStore truck, instead of sending the items to the landfill.
The next day, Upward Bound Students volunteered at the ReStore, so they could see how their work would make an impact. The students helped with general upkeep of the store, including organizing the tools and doors.
The ReStore provides a second life for excess building materials, both new and used and keeps usable tools, hardware and furniture out of the landfill. While making those goods available to the public at reasonable prices, the ReStore also helps local contractors and construction retailers find a home for their overstocks or scratch and dent product. It is a win – win for customers, for donors, for the environment, and for Habitat.
All of the building materials sold at the ReStore have been donated, and 100% of the proceeds come back to Habitat. Last year, the ReStore helped to fund the construction of five Habitat homes with its sales.
Interested in painting some donation boxes for the ReStore? Contact Sarah Harris at email@example.com or 612 305 7164.
Inspired to add a ReStore donation box at your business? Contact Pete O’Keefe at firstname.lastname@example.org or 612-305-7155